Traveling can change the world

It's my passion to support you making some great memories in Kyoto and Japan.

I’m Masaki Mori. Please call me Makoon.

I was born in Japan and have lived in Vancouver, Canada for about 10 years.
I’m an experienced National Government Licensed Guide.
I’m also a guide trainer of a professional program organized by Kyoto city,
English teacher, translator, professional breakdancer, and father of two young kids.

I used to be a business planner in a manufacturing company. After working in the corporate world for 6 years, I made a decision to quit the company because I found a perfect job for myself: tour guide. I love my city Kyoto, and my mission now is to share this very unique city with people from all over the world.
I’d love to guide you to this city of 1200 years of history, share what I know about the modern and traditional, connect you to Japanese history and culture, take you to beautiful scenic locations, and help you making your trip UNFORGETTABLE!!

I conduct over 140 private tours a year, and proud to say close to 50% of my guests are either returning or by referral (as of Jul. 2020).

Please join my tour, I will only try my best for you to make great memories here in Japan.
See you soon.

YourKyoto Movie

Testimonials

Thank you Makoon!

Makoon did an amazing job from start to finish. He was great communicating with us prior to our visit. Once we got there, he was easy to understand and showed us a great time in Kyoto. He is very knowledgeable about the history of the city and the Geisha culture. He also brought us to a fantastic Ramen spot for lunch. Anyone coming to Kyoto and looking to have a guide should book Makoon!

Zack/United States

Knowledgeable and Friendly

It was my husband and mine’s first trip to Japan and it was our honeymoon. We were fortunate to have booked Makoon. From day 1, it was easy to plan our trip. Communications were clear and prompt. He was knowledgeable and friendly throughout the trip. He was respectful of us Muslims and ensured every food we tried was halal. He also suggested places to eat as well. We were able to explore Japan in 2 days and he the planning was precise. We hope to book Makoon again on our next trip.

Puteri/Couple/Malaysia

Masaki (Makoon) made our visit to Kyoto the highlight of our Japan trip and we were traveling with a 15 year old boy

Makoon is seriously amazing! We spent 7 days in Japan and had 3 tour guides, 2 in Kyoto and 1 in Tokyo. The only reason we had 2 guides in Kyoto is because we booked our guides only a few weeks out and Makoon was only available for one day of our trip. We are from the US and had never been to Japan (or even Asia!) before. All three guides we had in Japan were excellent, but Makoon was amazing!! I never write reviews, but felt compelled to write this one. Here are the reasons I feel Makoon made our trip most memorable. 1) He developed a wonderful rapport with our 15 year old son right away – they got along famously the whole time and he kept the day entertaining for both my son and me and my husband. 2) his knowledge of Shintoism (sp?), Buddhism, Kyoto and Japan history is incredible. He took the time at each temple and shrine to educate us on each of the traditions and made the experience very very fun! 3) during our shopping experience in Arashiyama he took us to authentic stores with reasonable prices for us to purchase souvenirs. He also provided us samples of many things as we walked through the shops such as green tea chocolate, rice cake treats, and even various kinds of Saki including one non-alcoholic one for my son to try. There was never any pressure to purchase anything he just wanted us to experience the culture. 4) He took us to a wonderful raman restaurant as my son could not wait to try true raman. Our day with Makoon included Monkey Mountain, Arasiyama, and Fushimi Inari Shrine, This day with Makoon was our very favorite day in Japan and I would highly recommend him.

Elizabeth/Family/United States

An amazing day with Makoon in Kyoto.

Although it was just a day with Makoon, it seemed like we have captured Kyoto at its finest. With a background of living and studying aboard, Makoon speaks English fluently. He has a very pleasant personality therefore we connected very well like we have known each other for a long time. My 20 years old daughter and 16 years old son enjoyed talking to Makoon and shared a lot of interested subjects. From planning to executing our tour, Makoon was very professional, attentive and flexible. He returned emails very promptly when we have questions. He always gave us candid feedback and suggestion. Makoon is also a good photographer. He took many pictures for us so we can have some memorable pictures to bring back to the States. Thank you Makoon for your guidance and valuable information about Kyoto and its history.

Andy/Family/United States

Great tour of Kyoto for families

We had only a day and a half to see Kyoto and Makoon did a great job of selecting sites that were interesting to our whole family, including our 7 year old. Highlights of our tour included Monkey Mountain, the Bamboo Forest, Shogun mound and my personal favorite Fushimi Inari Shine. Makoon is very knowledgeable of the history of Kyoto and the sites we visited, his insights made our experience more memorable than if we’d just visited the sites on our own. He also brought along his camera and took some really great photos for us. We had the unique experience of touring Kyoto during a rare snow storm. Makoon did a great job of modifying our original planned itinerary to allow us to still enjoy all the sites even with the wet weather. If you are looking to tour Kyoto, we highly recommend Makoon.

Ann/Family/United States

BOOK MAKOON IF YOU CAN GET HIM

Look no further.
Makoon is incredibly knowledgeable, delightful, and prepared. He took so much of his time even before the tour to help us prioritize our time in Kyoto.
We have hired guides everywhere from Istanbul to Tokyo and Makoon stands out as the best.
Makoon doesn’t just recite memorized facts. He says that’s what you have Google for. He relates the experience to your life and makes you think and teaches you more than a bit.
Fantastically interesting.
And, completely delightful to be with for us all!!! Such a lovely interesting person with such a deep knowledge of Kyoto and Japanese culture and history as well as pop culture and today’s world politics.
You will not be disappointed !
He pointed us to the best restaurants and helped us plan our next day. He’s a WOW.
But he does book up. Book early.

Leigh/Family/United States

Kyoto in a day

My 16 year old and I had a great time on our tour with Masaki. He really knows so much about the history of Kyoto. While we did not expect the knowledge we were given on the tour, we were amazed and enjoyed it very much. Masaki hit every area we wanted to see, and gave us information about these areas that we would have never known had we just went on our own…not to mention been able to do so much in one day! Thanks Masaki for a great day in Kyoto. Marshall

Marshall/Family/United States

Wonderful time exploring Kyoto

Very much enjoyed seeing the monkey park, alternative uncrowded bamboo Forrest, and special temples and shrines with Masaki. He took us to places the big busses couldn’t go to and is very knowledgeable about Kyoto.

Monique/Family/United States

Great Tour

We have spend half a day with Makoon and have learned so much. He tailord an itinerary for us and showed us some very special hidden spots of Kyoto. Thanks to Makoon I got not only an insight into the Japanese history but also learned a lot about the culture and some great fun facts.
We had a lot of fun with Makoon!

Lena/Couple/Germany

He was the best!

Fantastic guide!!! He really went the extra mile to make sure that we were able to do everything that we were hoping to do. We cannot recommend him highly enough!

Sabrina/Family/United States

Best guide ever!

Makoon is perhaps the best guide we have ever had. He has a very deep knowledge of the history of Kyoto and took us to several areas missed by most tourists. He did a great job engaging our 3 teenagers. I highly recommend him.

Marc/Family/United States

Great guide to show us Kyoto

We had a fantastic day with Makoon in Kyoto. He is such a friendly and attentive person, full of knowledge about the sights and the Japanese culture and his command of English is excellent, which is rather rare. He really takes care of his group, making the day a memorable one. Highly recommended.

Marc/Family/United States

very detailed and interesting information

made a very good preparation, nice to talk to, interesting

Van/Family/Belgium

Kyoto Sights

We had two full days with Masaki. He truly was fantastic. Games for the kids. Itinerary outlined weeks in advance. Coordinated with tour van. These were just some of the things he did for us. We could really relax and just enjoy all that Kyoto has to offer. He was outstanding in every regard and he was always upbeat and fun to be with.

Todd/Family/Canada

On our trip to Japan

My husband I were so lucky and blessed to have been referred to Makoon by a couple of friends of ours to work with us for a couple of days in Kyoto (although he works in other areas of Japan as well). Makoon was an absolute delight to work with – so enthusiastic, so knowledgeable, so much fun, and he tolerated all of my questions with excellent grace and humor! I truly cannot recommend him more highly. We felt that we saw so much from the historical to the cultural to the whimsical, and he helped us greatly with restaurant choices and the best ways to get around town when we weren’t with him. We had a blast with him and won’t hesitate to contact him the next time we’re planning a trip to Japan and will be happy to share his info with our friends who are going as well.

Nicole F

THE BEST TOUR GUIDE IN KYOTO!

Makoon is simply THE BEST tour guide in Kyoto! We had a wonderful time with Makoon. He was amazing not only with my 10 year old daughter but also my 70 year old parents who traveled with us. We learned so much about Kyoto with our limited schedule. He was engaging, funny, kind, thoughtful and fun! We are thinking of visiting Kyoto again so that we can tour more with Makoon – that’s how great he is! He is extremely organized and our tours were very well thought out and planned. We would most definitely recommend Makoon to all our family and friends.

Edwina/FamilyUnited States

Amazing Kyoto tour guide!

Thank you so much Makoon for such a memorable experience ! We truely enjoyed the 2 days we spent in Kyoto with you ! To all who wonder whether they should book with him – he was amazing ! He has a true passion for the city and culture and gave us insight to the city and Japanese people. His English is excellent and he is knowledgeable about almost every topic that we asked him about. He gave us an unparalleled, personalized trip and showed us the true hospitality of the Japanese people . Thank you again ! All 4 of us felt so “lucky “ to have met you!

Rupal/Friends/United States

Highlight of our visit to Japan

On our first morning in Kyoto, we had Masaki guide us around the Arashiyama area where we experienced the bamboo grove, monkey mountain and great traditional food and shopping. It was a really enjoyable half day tour for our family and Masaki was fantastic. His knowledge of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture was first rate. He connected easily with the whole family. He was able to get us in and out of the various places avoiding the busiest times while being at the right places at the right times to see the highlights. And to top it off … he took us to a local Ramem lunch spot which was the best meal we had on our entire trip to Japan. Thank you Masaki for such a memorable experience!!

Steve/Family/Australia

Personal Kyoto Tour

Makoon was the best tour guide that I have ever experienced. His English was just perfect and among the places that we visited, I was really impressed with the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and the Tenryuji Temple. Makoon was very knowledgeable regarding the history of Kyoto and continues to do research to expand his knowledge base. Worth every penny!
Gail

Gail/Couple

The Best Day in Kyoto

We had the most amazing day in Kyoto with Makoon as our guide. He was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable on all the top sites in Kyoto. His English is excellent.
I cannot speak highly enough of Makoon for making our day so interesting.
If you want the best guide in Kyoto get Makoon

Liz/Friends/Australia

Kyoto tour – Makoon is the best guide ever!

It was such a wonderful treat to have Makoon as our guide, his shining personality and his love for Kyoto transfers dirrectly to your heart ! He shares his knowlledge with sincerity and passion. All four of us were mesmerized by his storytelling! Super happy with our extraordinary guide, highly recommend Makoon !!!

StudioA/

Kyoto in a day

Mr Masaki, a.k.a Mr Makoon is the first guide i have encountered who brings a camera and becomes your personal photographer too. He is very informative, accomodating and knowledgable. He would even find shortcuts to let u have a better photo angle of the sites you go to. He wilk even make a personalized ITenerary brochure for you 😃. thumbs up

Robert/Family/Philippines

More than a tour!

Our experience touring Kyoto was wonderful! Makoon was friendly and helpful, very attentive to the different interests of our family. He was able to share deeper historical information at each stop that gave us better insight to the culture and significance of the sights. He accommodated coffee stops, food allergies and many photo breaks, both ones he took and ones we had to have with our cell phones. We had a wonderful time and highly recommend Makoon for anyone interested in experiencing Kyoto!

Veronica/Family/United States

Makoon is Great!

Our time in Kyoto was made wonderful by our time with Makoon. He is not only knowledgeable about all things Japan, he is also warm, friendly and attentive. His insight into the history of Japan made our trip so much more enjoyable. After going thorough a shrine, he led us through a “gauntlet” of food stands, each one better than then the next. He also steered us towards authentic Japanese merchants and kept us clear of the touristy spots. I can’t imagine having a better person guide us through Kyoto.

Steve/Family/United States

Our half-day tour with Makoon was amazing

Exactly what we were hoping for during our time in Kyoto. The blend of history, sight-seeing, and food was perfect. He customized the tour based on our interests and even gave us recommendations for the rest of our Japan trip. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience, highly recommend for anyone wanting a more personalized exploration of the city!

Julia. W

Family Vacation in Kyoto

My family and I recently visited Kyoto and was referred to Makoon. We had the best time with him. He showed us around to all the best sites including some off the grid places that most tourists don’t get to see.

He is so knowledgeable and makes each site interesting and beautiful as he tells stories and comments on all of the history behind each site. The one thing I enjoyed most about listening to Makoon was that when we visited each site (shrines, temples, etc.) he told a story with confidence and clear diction that focused on the sites significance in a memorable way. Unlike other tours Makoon’s unique style captivated us and allowed us to enjoy and remember each place as we look back on pictures.

Our trip to Kyoto was amazing because of him! We could not have asked for a more polite, knowledgeable, fun, and interesting guide! I would refer him to anyone looking to see sites in Kyoto. I can’t imagine seeing the sites without him. He also brought us to some great restaurants and taught us so much about the language, culture and background of the city and country of japan.

We had fun with him and will always remember our time with Makoon!

Wendy/Family/United States

Excellent family tour of Kyoto

Makoon was an exceptionally good guide for me and my family in Kyoto. I’m a pretty critical person but Makoon gave us a five-star experience. Some of the best things were: his email communication before the trip, his excellent English and North American accent, the way he encouraged and connected with my entire family, including my tween/teen kids, and his flexibility. Further to all of that, you could tell that he is really a genuinely great human being, and touring with him was a true win-win – you could tell that he really loved sharing Kyoto with us. I had been to some of the places we visited but Makoon brought a tablet with a couple of slide of grounding information (e.g. about emporers and shoguns) that really made the experience deeper for all of us. My wife and kids generally don’t like to go to museums and to “learn” on vacation, but Makoon snuck in some basic Japanese cultural and history lessons such that the kids didn’t even realize they were learning something! I would suggest Makoon with absolutely zero reservations.

David/Family/United States

Visit to Kyoto

My wife and I were visiting Kyoto for the first time and engaged Masaki’s services as a guide for three days. He was very helpful during the planning phase. Letting us know certain sites we should see and helping to organize our days to minimize travel and maximize our site seeing. He kept us up to date on events prior to our arrival, especially important since we were we going to Kyoto close to Typhoon season. During our tours he was very knowledgeable and provide us with the right combination of historical facts and local trivia. Most of all he was flexible. My hobby is photography and he was able to identify key places where I could get good pictures. In addition, he tailored the days factoring in our preference for walking and time of day and weather. All and all our experience with Masaki was very successful and I would recommend him to others.

Nils/Family/United States

top notch guide with extensive knowledge of japanese culture and history

we had an outstanding day with makoon! we traveled very efficiently to all the different sites in kyoto by car with our family of 4. this was quite fortunate as the day was very hot and humid. at the sites and during our car rides, makoon had plenty of historical and interesting information to share with us. we gained a deeper insight of japanese history and culture with makoon’s comments and anecdotes. my 2 teenagers were also very engaged and enjoyed the tour also. we all HIGHLY recommend makoon. he will definitely enrich your time in kyoto.

Linda/Couple/United States

The Key to Kyoto

Makoon opened our eyes, ears, hearts and souls to the beauty of Kyoto. While our visit was short, our experience was infinite as we will carry these memories for the rest of our lives. Makoon is a teacher more than a guide and we highly recommend him to future Kyoto visitors. It will take too long to describe all that we did and learned, so I will say that this visit gave us a thirst to return one day and to tell our friends and family to visit this beautiful city. Thank you again Makoon for all your services!

Michael/Couple/United States

Fun 2 days with Makoon!

I did quite a bit of research for a tour guide for Kyoto before deciding on Makoon. I was looking for a guide who is young enough to keep up with me but not so young that I would have trouble relating. Also he seemed fun and engaging from his profile.
When we met I was so glad I picked him! Not only is he fun and engaging, he is very funny and kind and has great patience. He was able to quickly determine my likes and dislikes and continued to tailor the tour through the 2 days. He told me a lot of interesting stories and seemed to have endless knowledge about Kyoto. He was never at loss and was able to answer all my questions, even the more obscure ones.
We had a very comfortable 2 days together. I never once felt awkward and it was like talking to am old friend. in fact I had a better time with him than I do with some of my actual friends.
I will definitely be back to this beautiful city and I will definitely call on Makoon to guide me to more places next time!

Jill/Family/United Kingdom

Best Tour Guide in Kyoto!!!

We are first time visitors with family of 4. Makoon thoughtfully planned 1.5 days of itineraries that satisfied each of our interests. He was very flexible and accommodating. We enjoyed his narrations of the history for each destination. He even made us daily personalized brochures that included our schedule and fun facts about each location. Wow! We felt special!!! This made our tour so much more interesting. His English was top notch. In terms of food, he took us to a variety of different places where the locals go. Not touristy at all. We loved loved all the food! Makoon was thoughtful, charming, and so much fun to be with. Most of all, he was kind and genuine. Don’t tour Kyoto with any other guide. Makoon is THE guide for you!!!

Joni/Family/United States

 Best Day Ever

I was responsible for planning our Asia excursions so I was anxious that each tour turn out. Masaki was our jackpot! From being prompt with his emails and eager to put the perfect tour together until he escorted us back to our ship it was such a great experience! He was so entertaining… even when waiting for trains he amused us with vending machine stories. His knowledge was so impressive and he managed to convey it in such a fun way. Thank you Makoon! We are still talking about our great day in Kyoto! Also thanks for all the pictures you took … they are awesome!!!

 

Gabrielle/Coupacle/Canada

3-days-tour in Kyoto

We, a group of 4 people from Germany hired Masaki (Makoon) for a 3-days-stay in Kyoto. It was a outstanding experience to spend and share the time with him. A top-notch-guide! He has a wonderful personality, is open, flexible and understands the wishes of the group, even they deviate from the original and agreed tour plan. Makoon has a deep knowledge about the history, the temples and shrines as well as the Gijon quarter. He knows little bits and pieces that made his explanations so lively and interesting. He did care about everything we needed. We couldn’t find anybody better and have not one subject to criticise other than we have been so sad when we said Good-bye end of day 3. One member of the group at home said: “It was my best vacation ever”! We do strongly recommend him and when we come back once, we will hire him again since he became our friend!

Christoph/Friends/Germany/

Kyoto In A Day

Just returned to Hawaii from a quick trip to Japan which included 2 days in Kyoto. First, if you’re thinking about taking a relaxing trip to Kyoto avoid the Thanksgiving weekend! It’s already peak season to visit Kyoto to witness the changing colors for autumn, but what is Thanksgiving day in the US is also a national holiday in Japan. Everything and everywhere was crowded with local and foreign tourists. Talking Saturday night Las Vegas strip crowds and Disneyland Main Street after the fireworks crowded sidewalks! Did not see that coming so didn’t plan for that! Fortunately, we had Masaki as our tour guide and he did plan for it! Masaki or “Makoon” which is his nickname, was EXCEPTIONAL. He anticipated the crowds and had it programmed into his itinerary for the day. He had us start early and we were able to stroll through Gion and take in the culture behind the mystery. He was well informed and prepared so provided unique insight to every site we visited. We visited numerous temples and shrines (he explained the difference!) before the crowds become a problem. Instead of relying on taxis to get around which is the norm for private tours, he had planned using the subways and rail because of the anticipated traffic congestion on the surface streets. He even had us enter the bamboo forest from the exit end to avoid the crowd trying to get in the front gate. Simple things which showed that Makoon had taken the extra effort and thought in pre-planning to ensure that our day would be as stress-free and enjoyable as possible! Our day tour of Kyoto could have easily gone the frustrating route with all the crowds, lines, traffic, etc. but we were very fortunate to have Makoon as our guide. His dedication, sincere love of the city, and his efforts to make your visit truly memorable was quite impressive. Mahalo Makoon for a job well done!

David/Couple/United States

Excellent ! Best tour guide !

Masaki, or “Makoon” as he goes by, was an exceptional tour guide. I can’t say enough good things about him! We booked a pricate custom one day tour of Kyoto. He was always quick and prompt with email correspondence prior to our trip. He took into consideration my ideas and places I wanted to see while coming up with a great itinerary and suggesting his own ideas. He is very knowledgeable; he knew so much about all of the different places he took us and his English was excellent. If you’re looking to go places off the beaten path, Makoon is your guy! Most of the temples and shrines and the bamboo forest he suggested were so quiet, it was like we had the place to ourselves. He also knew what time we should go for lunch to avoid the rush. He went above and beyond to help make our trip as good as it could be, even past his tour. He recommended places for dinner after he dropped us off and even helped us purchase train tickets for the next day as our hotel was very close to Kyoto station. He also brought his own camera and took photos of us along the way which emailed to me within hours! If you’re going to Kyoto, definitely book Makoon!

Danielle/United States

ABOSLUTELY INCREDIBLE

Makoon was one of the nicest tour guides I have ever had in my travels to over 29 countries. He was superiorly knowledgeable, knew the best places and times of days to attend them and responded to my questions before booking within hours. His english was superb and I feel lucky that we had him for the entire day in Kyoto!

Joshua/Friends/United States

An Absolute Must Experience – Best Way to Visit Kyoto

Makoon exceeded all expectations as our Kyoto tour guide. His meticulously crafted itinerary elevated our experience, providing not just a tour but an immersive and authentic learning journey. Makoon’s attention to historical detail showcased his authenticity and dedication to ensuring the best possible experience in his town of Kyoto. The culinary adventures from local coffee, Nishiki market stalls, Arashiyama historical shopping strip to our exquisite lunch in Gion offered a genuine taste of Japanese culture, a stand out being being our introduction to Yatsuhashi, delicious . Saying goodbye was bittersweet, as Makoon is not just a guide but a forever friend. Highly recommend him for an unforgettable Kyoto experience. Okini for the cherished memories! We will be back soon.

Joseph Jones

An AWESOME Day!

Makoon is by far the most professional, detailed, knowledgeable and passionate guide we have ever had. He continued to amaze us with a depth of information and knowledge. We had a wonderful day exploring Kyoto guided by Makoon. His planning and attention to detail is outstanding. He adjusted the tour perfectly to accomodate my husbands health issues. I really can’t say enough about this young man. It was not surprising to discover that he teaches classes for guides! Thank you Makoon for a day we will never forget!

Tammie/Couple/United States/

A really excellent day with Makoon

We had a great day with Makoon. He had put a lot of care and thought into preparing the day for us and as a result we saw the best places in Kyoto with him. He gave us clear and interesting explanations of the places we visited on a personal basis (not all guides do that! — some just repeat a standard spiel!!) and he helped us find the best locations for some great photographs. He is clever, knowledgable and was great to talk to: we discussed all sorts of aspects of Japan and life in Japan, from social issues, to politics, to culture and so forth. And he took some great photos and sent them to us very quickly. We were sooooooooooooo pleased we chose him. Thank you Makoon!

Jeremy/Couple/United Kingdom

Kyota in a day

Masaki was in one word excellent! He was knowledgeable – knew how to maximize time and avoid crowds. He customized our trip. We quickly took his advice not to try to bucket list Kyota and see everything in a day – what sage advice. Sure, it can be done but you will miss out on the true atmosphere/energy of the sites you visit. We had thought about staying on the east side but Masaki knew that one of the temples we wanted to see was going to be under construction (something not found on any website – until after we got there) Great job!! We stayed west and the golden temple, Zen rock garden and the bamboo forest area were wonderful. We are good walkers/hikers and never felt rushed or tired. The highlight was the restaurant that Masaki picked for lunch. An unbelievable meal. We opted for the middle kaiseki which was incredible, the food was perfect but the artistic beauty and the detail to presentation – even down to the antique plates/bowls was awesome. Plus the view over the river was a nice plus, despite the rain outside during lunch. Finally, we ended up in the Gian region for early evening. Although Masaki did not come with us on this part he planned our whole hiking tour and what to look for. We are not big into shopping but he had places to purchase anything you might want – including art which we did want to look at. He has a car – air-conditioned (which in summer was a godsend) Also made transportation easy. We had contemplated a bike tour but so thankful we nixed that idea. It rained part of the time and was hot. He also took great pictures of us as well excellent English. Next time we are back we will definitely book with Masaki again.

Pete/Couple/United States

Makoon is the best tour guide we’ve ever had!

We spent 3 half-days exploring Kyoto with Makoon. It was our first time in Japan and we had done absolutely no homework, found the extensive amount of things to do overwhelming. Makoon took over 100% of the planning, incorporating our preferences to stop for coffees, cover some ground, and take it easy depending on our jet lag. His tour took us to some off the beaten path gems, some major highlights, and excellent snack spots. But most importantly, we got the historical and modern cultural context from Makoon’s very well researched and presented perspectives. Such a delight and we can’t recommend him enough.

We also have some incredible photos of us as well which is so nice.

Thank you Makoon!!

Lili & Colin McVeigh

Fantastic Tour!

Makoon not only showed us famous sites, he shared secret places and stories you’d never find on your own. He’s friendly, smart and passionate about his job. We were so fortunate to have him as our guide!

Meredith Davis

A relaxed and well thought fun tour.

The tour was well planned and tailored for me and my mom. Makoon was very clear and effective with his communication skills, knowlegeable about Japan’s history (I like that the tour was interactive) he’s fun, personable , sensitive to your needs and made suggestions to help us maximize time to cover the highlights of our tour. I like the fact that he made sure we avoided the massive crowds as it is now the peak of travel here in Japan. Lastly, he made sure we got back to our hotel safely after the tour by accompanying us back to the hotel with his own time. This is taking an extra mile and I think it’s above and beyond. “Hi Makoon, Thanks for the local food suggestions, local tips for shopping and peace and quiet sightseeing”. We had a great time and experience.

Gino/Family/United States

Hands down the best guide we had!

We adore Makoon! Not only does he have perfect English but he connects with his tour. I have 12 year old twin girls and a 14 year old son, he made each place we visited not only interesting to the adults but captivating to our pre-teens and teen, which is almost an impossible feat! We had other guides in Toyko that were very basic and toured us around all they typical places but Makoon created a tour just for our family. When it was my son’s birthday he brought him a small gift and made the day extra special. He is a complete gem, I only wish we had him our entire time in Japan!

Jessica/Family/United States

Highlight of our trip!

I cannot say enough good things about Makoon. He is the best! He responds quickly, he is flexible, knowledgeable, kind and great with kids!! Our tour with him was definitely the best part of our trip. If we are ever back in Kyoto he will be the first person we call. Thank you Makoon!!

Tim/Family/United States

Flavor of Kyoto

We were staying in Tokyo,and as we only had a day in Kyoto we wanted to see the highlights of the city. Makoon was a great asset to accomplish this goal. We arrived slightly later than initially agreed upon due to train issues, but Makoon was able to keep us on schedule. His English is perfect and he was a pleasure to speak with. We saw all the sites we wanted to and more. I would highly recommend Makoon to anyone wanting an in depth look at Kyoto from an experienced local.

Marc/Couple/United States

Best tour!!

My husband and I received the tour with Makoon as a gift from my boss. It was the best gift we could have received seeing as we were in Japan for the first time celebrating our honeymoon. Makoon was able to give us a tour that was exactly to our liking. He made it customized with history, customs, and delicious food. It was everything and more we could have hoped for! We definitely recommend his tour to anyone that travels to Kyoto.

Demi/Couple/United States

A great introduction of Kyoto

Makoon made a great effort to make my short time in Kyoto as enjoyable and insightful as possible. He has a real passion for his magnificent city which he communicated fluentlywithout seeming effort, taking me into the history and culture.

Simon R.

Makoon was absolutely amazing

Our group had the best day ever in Kyoto! The perfect blend of the must-see spots + hidden gems. You can also trust Makoon to pick the best restaurants. He is so knowledgeable about the city and helped us not only plan a great day of touring but how to spend our days of leisure that didn’t require a guide. He was super helpful leading up to the trip and very responsive. He is so passionate about what he does and especially great at taking and sharingknowledgeable about the city and helped us not only plan a great day of touring but how to spend our days of leisure that didn’t require a guide. He was super helpful leading up to the trip and very responsive. He is so passionate about what he does and especially great at taking and sharing photos. Overall the day was a 12/10 and we would recommend him to everyone we know! We love you Makoon!! We will be back and hope you can come visit us in NY!

Deni

Kyoto 1 Day Tour

Awesome tour guide. Very knowledgeable about Kyoto especially on the geisha culture. Would definitely recommend.

Vanessa/Family/Canada

Best Guide Ever!!!

Makoon is the best tour guide I ever had! My husband & I went to Japan to celebrate our 30th birthdays and our favorite day was our Kyoto tour with Makoon. He tailored an itinerary that highlighted everything we wanted to see. He is extremely knowledgeable about the history of Kyoto and shared a lot about the culture and other fun facts! We even had some time at the end so he showed us some other interesting spots. We are also still dreaming about the incredible sushi lunch he took us to! I would highly recommend Makoon, we had so much fun with him!

Eytal T/Couple/United States

One-Day Tour in Kyoto

Makoon was by far the best tour guide we could have asked for! He was so easy to communicate with, very understanding and extremely knowledgeable. His vast knowledge of the geisha culture kept us on our toes. The 8 hours we spent with him flew by and left us wanting more. We could not stop talking about him for the rest of our trip. We had a friend use a different tour guide on a previous day and our experiences were quite different, her guide did not touch on half the information that Makoon did. He took us to sites that were so important to the history of Kyoto, that would have otherwise been overlooked. We even shed some tears at the end of the day when our time with Makoon was over. He created forever memories for us that we are forever grateful for!

Katerina/Friends/United States

Wonderful time in Kyoto with Makoon

We booked a late afternoon/evening tour and full day tour the following day with Makoon to explore the many sights of Kyoto. From the beginning, the planning process and communication was great. He took our requests and developed a wonderful tour. During our short time in Kyoto, we were able to see many highlights. Makoon directed us to less congested tourist areas of the main sights and knew prime photo stops. Greatly appreciated. He took pictures of us along the way which will make for great memories. We enjoyed the history lessons and general knowledge he shared. Would highly recommend touring Kyoto with Makoon and we hope to get back to Kyoto as there is so much more to see and do. Thanks for a great time!

Gabrielle/Couple/United States

Great Day!

Masaki or Makoon (as he likes to be known) was the perfect guide for our family of first timers to Kyoto. His knowledge and passion for his town are infectious and we learnt so much. We contacted Makoon with how we wanted our day to look and he catered perfectly! We wanted a bit of the old and the new and to also see things from a locals point of view – all perfect! Not only is Makoon a great guide, he’s a great guy too! We thoroughly recommend him for Kyoto visits! Thanks

Scott/Family/Australia

Makoon is the “go-to” professional for you and your family.

He is friendly and knowledgeable — and he will design a tour based on your interests and needs.  I spent one day with Makoon during my first trip to Kyoto after my US friends recommended him to me — and he truly exceeded my expectations.  Makoon will not disappoint — and he will enrich your time in Japan.

Eric L

Traveling in Kyoto and Osaka with Makoon was extraordinary

He takes you to hidden gems and finds interesting quiet areas even at the most crowded tourist sites. His restaurant choices are superb.  He even planned activities for the days when we were not  touring with him.

Personally, he is exceptionally positive and upbeat. He works hard to ensure everyone is having a great time and tries to connect with each guest. He went above and beyond for our family: he spent a half an hour with my husband to help him select cough medicine at the pharmacy when he was feeling sick ; he took me to an excellent sake shop to find bottles not available in the US; and he helped my son plan an engagement proposal in Hakone. Makoon made a memorable trip unforgettable. He is truly a one of a kind gem!

Two days was not enough!

I did a lot of research for our family trip to Japan. Makoon was very responsive and very professional from the start. I told him what I wanted to see and I asked him for recommendations on if I should change anything and he gave suggested I trade one place for Nijo castle. Being with Makoon is awesome, it’s better than a documentary because you get the history and significance of the places you are visiting, the hidden spots, tips on where to eat and shop, all wrapped up in a very friendly and caring guide. We spent two half days seeing the following. 1) Fushimi Inari Shrine 2) Kiyomizu Temple 3) Sanjusangen do 4) Downtown walk (Intro to Geisha culture) 5) Bamboo Forest Arashiyama 6) Kinkaku Temple 7) Nijo Castle Our first day we were late by 20 mins because we missed our train and he was very patient and courteous to us. I was able to send him updates through the app. He speaks English well. He took pictures of us too! He is truly an example of someone who loves their job and it really shows. I am planning on doing another trip and have him pick out what I do each day. He is worth the money 100%. Don’t hesitate on booking him. You can go see these sites on your own but having him their will give you the cultural and historical significance. In addition there were several things that I would have just walked by but I saw it cause he pointed it out. Book today! You won’t regret it!

Jana/Family/United States

“ Off the charts A+++ Guide (look no further) ”

We were looking for Kyoto tours over two days with my husband and 9-year-old boy, and once we found Masaki’s profile we were already sold (he was obviously intellectual and extremely good with families/kids), but literally he surpassed every expectation. Upon booking Masaki (“Makoon”) immediately understood what we would need to keep our little boy engaged, so planning was easy from Day 1 (promptly following our initial email exchange we received a detailed, extremely well thought out personalized itinerary from which it was clear he absolutely understood our needs/desires and that we had found the right person). What I didn’t expect, however, was that Makoon’s two days with us would be the highlight of our entire (and amazing) time in Japan. Makoon is extremely charismatic, well-educated, extremely personable, an amazing storyteller, and he understands kids. We went to what was probably our best lunch during our entire trip, an off-the-beaten-path place that we would never have found or enjoyed so much without him (and we ate at many other wonderful places), and thanks to his interest in history we learned far more about the history and culture of Kyoto than I think most guides are able to impart. His English is incredible from having lived several years in Canada (where he learned to breakdance!), and my little boy thought and thinks he is the coolest guy ever. Makoon also did a very cool “Kyoto passport” challenge for our boy which was a huge hit. More generally he is also just an extremely cool guy, and he speaks perfect English and knows how to deliver and bring what is already a magical part of Japan to life. Our 9 year old adores him and we will definitely hire him again the next time we are in Japan (obviously, as you can see from his schedule, book early). We are so happy we found him!

Heather/Family with kids/United States

Amazing tour

I can’t say enough good things! Extremely knowledgeable, amazing with kids (held their interest). All around the perfect day!!!!

Amy/Family/United States

Fantastic time with Makoon!

My 14 year old son and I spent the day with Makoon in Kyoto. He was fantastic! He was punctual, knowledgeable, prepared, engaging, and kind. My son and I both connected with him and would recommend him to spend a day with anyone in Kyoto. He took pictures of us and was very informative and flexible. Super day and great memories!

Kimberly/Family/United States

Two days tour of Kyoto

During our recent visit to Kyoto with our friends we were lucky enough to work with Masaki-san as our Super Tour Guide. I say Super because his knowledge of both the factual details of the sites we visited, but of equal importance to us was his knowledge of how these 500-1,000 year old sites continue to fit into Japan’s current/modern culture today.
Masaki-san is also a very good photographer and having his great photos to remember our visit by is outstanding.
We could not recommend more highly working with Masaki-san if you want an in-depth and well organized tour of Kyoto.

Chris/United States

Anniversary Trip

Makoon made our visit to Kyoto so memorable. He tailored our tour(s) to meet our objectives. He was so informative on the culture, he was able to be very active and keep up with our hectic pace, he was very easy to understand (English), and he was an absolute joy to spend our days with. We wish we could have had him for our entire trip through Japan. We have recommended him to friends who have since used him as well. In a word, Outstanding!!!

Ross and Tara

Ross V/Couple/United States

Best tour I’ve ever done

Makoon is unbelievable! As you might expect, he’s extremely knowledgeable about Kyoto and runs a very professional operation. He’s a tour guide trainer, so he really sets a high bar, and his English is flawless as he studied and lived in Canada.

Some things you might not expect: some tours with other guides might be a bit stiff, with a lot of canned knowledge and set routes. Makoon however, is accommodating and likeable. He’s very genuine and everything feels spontaneous. He easily handled questions about a range of topics unrelated to the tour. You can tell he’s sincerely interested in many subjects and has much more than surface-level, academic knowledge.

In terms of itinerary, we did the Fushini Inari shrine, followed by Higashiyama, then Gion, before ending around Nishiki. It was 5 hours, a nice mix of the old and the new, the well-traveled and the underground. Despite doing so much, it didn’t feel rushed at all. Makoon knew that Fushimi Inari would be packed so made sure we started that early. I highly recommend doing a tour with Makoon.

Will/Couple/United States

Look no further, Makoon is your guide!

We have just returned from Japan and this review was a priority for us. In our opinion, Masaki aka Makoon is more than a phenomenal guide but immediately connects with his guests on a personal level and it feels like you have known him for years. Our time with Makoon was one our highlights to our trip. The pre trip communication was outstanding and he collaborated with us to build our own customized tour based on interests. He made an itinerary that was true to our needs and was spectacular. His presentation prior to our trip is a a keepsake and highly professional which allowed us to preplan our on our own time with many outstanding suggestions. The actual tour was well thought out never once did we feel rushed. Makoon has a great talent of making the tour seem like you are living a story which not only heightens your experience but leaves you with a true knowledge of Japanese culture. We had an awesome lunch which was one of your best meals during our 20 days in Japan. We also spent an extra amount of time a week later when returning to Osaka with Makoon and while we only had a short time there (evening tour), once again, he left us with yet another great memory and we felt we had an in depth visit of Osaka. We have used many guides over the years and Makoon is definitely at the top of our list! His English is awesome and you can truly feel his passion about Japan and the culture. Makoon is your guy! Don’t miss out on the experience on Kyoto or Osaka without him! You will truly have a fantastic tour and feel like you have covered days of touring in one day! That alone is worth the investment in a guide as it saves you time to see more of this majestic country! Makoon far exceeded our expectations and he deserves 10 gold stars as a review!

Teresa D

5 STARS. Choosing Makoon is best decision on our trip. It’s like having a knowledgeable friend show you their hometown.

Thank you Makoon for a wonderful tour in Kyoto! Makoon is an expert guide, a wonderful storyteller and a really special person. Makoon’s easy going communications style and superb English made sure we could benefit from not only facts and sights but also from the atmosphere and unique “feel” of Kyoto. We saw and experienced things we could have never seen without the experience and thoughtful guidance by Makoon. The great passion Makoon has to guiding visitors to his great town of Kyoto and to sharing his knowledge of Japanese culture and history are immediately evident and added a unique depth to our tour. Our tour together exceeded our expectations in the depth of knowledge, the sights we visited and the great fun of experiencing Kyoto with a local. It was like having a friend showing you around their hometown. He customized a tour which perfectly fit our interests. You could not ask for anything more in a special tour than the special experience we had with Makoon on our first day in Kyoto. Makoon’s pre-tour preparations and in depth information made sure we were prepared and allowed us to get the most out of our time together. Makoon is both very patient and has a wealth and depth of knowledge making our tour a unique fun and learning experience. We wish we had more time with Makoon and will recommend Makoon to all travelers to Japan and hope to meet him again in our next trip to Japan.

Yaron/Couple/Israel

Best tour guide of our entire trip!Justin

We hired Masaki (Makoon) for 2 days while we were in Kyoto. He was exactly what we weee looking for. My kids absolutely loved him and his tour. He was so knowledgeable about Japanese history (including the Relstiknships between the Shogun and the Emperor) and was able to explain it to our children in such a fun and easy way. He has his own car so we were able to avoid the hot days when we traveled from different sites. He took us to the popular sites and even some less frequented sites that were amazing. (We even had one site to ourselves for awhile with views of the entire city of Kyoto.). One of highlights for the tour for my kids was having lunch at a sushi conveyor belt restaurant where we ordered food on an IPad like device. The food was delivered on a belt. We deposited our empty plates in a dispenser and for every 5 plates we would get a chance to win a prize. Definitely something to check out if you are traveling with your family. He also gave us some great recommendations for dinners while we were in Kyoto. Honestly, the 2 days with Makoon were the highlight of our trip in Japan. I highly recommend hiring Makoon for your trip in Kyoto.

Justin/Family/United States

A tour so nice, I had to take it twice!

I toured around Kyoto with Makoon a couple of years ago and when I knew I was coming back with friends, I had no hesitation about reaching out to him again. He works very actively with you to try and tailor the tour to your interests ahead of time. During the time you spend with him you will get insights about the region, people, and culture far beyond what you might expect. The fact that he helps train other guides in the area should tell you alot. He also takes a lot of photos which he shares with you after the tour.

Basically, the fact that when I go back, I won’t hesitate to use him a third time should say plenty

David/Family/United States

Look no further, Makoon is your guide!

We have just returned from Japan and this review was a priority for us. In our opinion, Masaki aka Makoon is more than a phenomenal guide but immediately connects with his guests on a personal level and it feels like you have known him for years. Our time with Makoon was one our highlights to our trip. The pre trip communication was outstanding and he collaborated with us to build our own customized tour based on interests. He made an itinerary that was true to our needs and was spectacular. His presentation prior to our trip is a a keepsake and highly professional which allowed us to preplan our on our own time with many outstanding suggestions. The actual tour was well thought out never once did we feel rushed. Makoon has a great talent of making the tour seem like you are living a story which not only heightens your experience but leaves you with a true knowledge of Japanese culture. We had an awesome lunch which was one of your best meals during our 20 days in Japan. We also spent an extra amount of time a week later when returning to Osaka with Makoon and while we only had a short time there (evening tour), once again, he left us with yet another great memory and we felt we had an in depth visit of Osaka. We have used many guides over the years and Makoon is definitely at the top of our list! His English is awesome and you can truly feel his passion about Japan and the culture. Makoon is your guy! Don’t miss out on the experience on Kyoto or Osaka without him! You will truly have a fantastic tour and feel like you have covered days of touring in one day! That alone is worth the investment in a guide as it saves you time to see more of this majestic country! Makoon far exceeded our expectations and he deserves 10 gold stars as a review!

Teresa D

Unforgettable Tour of Kyoto!

We enjoyed an unforgettable tour of Kyoto with Makoon during a recent visit to Japan. He did a fantastic job creating an individualized itinerary to keep our whole family engaged and interested. He scheduled a great blend of history, culture, food, and outdoor activities, and we all enjoyed every minute.

Highlights of our tour included the Bamboo Forest and Arashiyama district, the Nijo Castle, and the Nishiki Food Market. We were also fortunate enough to spot 3 Geisha (actually Maiko!) while touring the Gion area.

Makoon came highly recommended by some friends who toured with him last summer, and we will enthusiastically recommend him to our friends who visit Japan in the future.

John L/Family/United States

Kyoto by Makoon

Makoon was an awesome guide. We fell in love with Kyoto because of Makoon. We are older and a little slower but our family is younger and he was able to combine the paces and make it a exciting. He tailored our day and was able to determine our like and dislikes immediately. He took us to such fun places. His stories were enlightening and added to the charm of Kyoto. We were with Makoon for two full days and we saw so much of the most beautiful sites even a secret one that was magnificent . He took lots of pictures for us so we could enjoy the scenery. I wouldn’t go to Kyoto without calling Makoon again as he will make your trip so memorable and I hope to see him again to show us more of his lovely city.
Lynn K

Lynn/Family/United States

Best Kyoto tour guide

A big thank you to Makoon for the wonderful day in Kyoto. From the beginning, he was thorough and prompt in all our correspondence, provided me with detailed information of what to expect, what to bring, etc. My kids (age 13 and 20) and I had a great day. The lunch place he had picked out was perfect, we learned so much from him about Kyoto history and about Japanese culture and society, and we liked his short powerpoint presentation at each sight. At the very crowded Kiyomizu temple, he took us off to the side to show us a very important stone marker, which most tourists missed. I highly recommend Makoon if you want to not only see the sights in Kyoto, but to learn about Japanese history and culture. He really knows his stuff!

Yuki/Family/United States

A tour guide that makes every experience better

Makoon can take a simple tour of a temple and makes it feel like the movie Night at the Museum. A real life visualization of history from the story telling mind of Makoon! The perfect understanding of what is just the right amount of knowledge to pass on without making it boring or too technical. Detail orientated, flexible and caring, Makoon was more than a tour guide, he became our friend. Thank you for a great day in Kyoto.

James/Family/United States

Visit to Arashiyama

“Makoon” is an easy going very friendly guide. He made us very comfortable and we felt like he was our good friend whom we have not seen for a long time. He provided a clear itinerary of our tour of west side of Kyoto. But it was very flexible in changing. Loads of suggestions that helped us decide what we wanted to do, what we should see, what and where to buy. Never once he pushed or hurried us up. He also took us to a very good tasty local Kyoto ramen restaurant that is outside of the touristy areas, which we would never have known. My friend and I had a fantastic time. We would definitely get him as our guide and also recommend to all our friends!

Anne/Couple/Canada

SIMPLY THR BEST?Book him if you can!

Makoon is his nickname! He is a delight to be with for all ages. He trains many of the other guides so he knows exactly what he’s talking about. But, he is young hip and cool and even a professional break dancer. He relates to all ages beautifully. He knows about history, Japanese culture, pop culture, and current Geo politics and we use them all into the tour. English is great because he lived in Vancouver for a number of years. He doesn’t just recite facts (he said that’s what Google is for), he tells you about the Japanese educational system and about Japanese religions and philosophy and culture… He engages you in such a thoughtful way that relates to your own life. We have employed guides across the globe and Makoon might be the best ever. He is a STAR. but he books up so grab him if you can. I wish he had another couple days for us. Don’t hesitate.

Leigh/Family/United States

Kyoto Tour Guide – The BEST!

Of all the tour guides I have had in my travels to many countries throughout the world, I can honestly say that Makoon was the best! He was very well prepared, thoroughly informed, extremely personable, and his English was flawless. What most impressed me was the extensive research he had done about all the sites we visited and the way in which he individualized our tour to our general interests. Moreover, not only did he fill us in on the history and background of what we saw, but he also challenged us to think about the meaning of what we saw and experienced to us, today. In addition to his intellect, research ability, and oral presentation skills, he is a charming and warm young man who made our hours together fly by. I can’t imagine anyone who could do a better job as a tour guide in Kyoto.He is from Kyoto, knows it well and is eager to share his pride of the city and its rich and complex history with tourists. He also volunteered to take pictures of us at various sites, which he then promptly sent to us. If you are visiting Kyoto, plan to spend a few days and hire Makoon for one or more of those days. You will not be disappointed!

Arlene/Couple/United States

Kyoto Tour of the Arashiyama Area

We had a delightful day exploring the Arashiyama area with Masaki. He is a true professional in every way. He was extremely knowledgeable of the area and helpful in planning an itinerary to complement our other activities in Kyoto. Masaki is an excellent communicator and listener. His passion is contagious, and he has a genuine interest in making your time together special. We appreciated his responsiveness and flexibility when we needed to change our meeting place. We highly recommend Masaki for others to experience the beauty of the area. Joan and Ken

Joan/Couple/United States

Great Tour!

Makoon is a wonderful tour guide! He answered all of our questions via email beforehand, created a custom itinerary based on what we wanted to do in Kyoto, and even offered to answer any questions we had for the rest of our trip! Makoon keeps things fun while teaching the history of each site visited. He is a great guy – he even gave us a bottle of champagne style saké since we are on our honeymoon! Definitely book a tour with Makoon if you have the chance.

Hannah/Couple

Above and beyond expectations

Makoon is one of the best guides we have ever had— in any country. He is not only knowledgeable and personable, he is well organized and fulfilled needs before we even thought of them. And it is a bonus that he carries his camera and takes great photos to document our day and as souvenirs. We will recommend him to all our friends and look forward to spending time with him again on a future trip.

Shelley/Couple/Canada

2 days of touring Kyoto

Our family of four had an amazing two days of touring Kyoto with Macoon! He brought to life the history and culture of Japan. He had incredible insights, was organized and flexible. Not only is his English excellent, (went to High School in Canada), he teaches a course to other aspiring tour guides. He was a joy to be with, professional, kind, considerate and extremely engaging. We can’t recommend him highly enough. Book him now-he is in high demand and its easy to understand why!

Amy/Family/United States

It is a pleasant trip exceeding our expectations

We were glad to have engaged his service, and he had make it a memorable one and we had requested for his contact to our friends who are intending to go there hassle free.

Priscillia/Family/Singapore

Ten out of Ten with Makoon!

From the very beginning, it was a great match! Touring with Makoon, we saw the perfect mix between traditional culture, typical of Kyoto and the lesser known off-the-beaten path spots. He picked up quickly on our family dynamics and tailored our tour on the fly. A wealth of information, Makoon always knew the best photo spots, authentic shops, and one of a kind restaurants. It would be a mistake not to tour with Makoon!

Diane/Family/United States

Kyoto visit

We had a full day with Masaki. He was very knowledgeable of the history if the area and was a strong communicator. We throughly enjoyed our day with Masaki and highly recommend him. Paul

Paul/Couple/Canada

Excellent day in Kyoto

Makoon (Masaki) took my family and i around Kyoto for a day. He quickly adapted to our style, and spent just the right amount of time explaining history/culture, without getting detailed to the point of boredom. He was lots of fun, and flexible, in that we added an extra stop to the tour. I would heartily recommend Masaki

Sam/Family/United States

Great last minute decision!

We were lucky to be able to book Makoon the day before our tour. He e-mailed us asking for our preferences for the tour and for lunch and he made all of the necessary arrangements. He even provided a personalized brochure/itinerary for the tour. He arrived at our hotel early and off we went to see Kiyomizu Temple, Gion including Pontocho, and the Fushimi Inari Shrine. We were even able to see a Geiko and Maiko! We stopped for lunch in-between at an excellent Yakitori restaurant he had booked ahead of time. He was nice enough to take us to a supermarket looking for a certain kind of candy. Having his car for the tour provided a great deal of flexibility. It was nice to get his cultural insights and learn details about each site we would not have otherwise known. His english is outstanding and he answered all of our multiple questions. As an added benefit, he brought his camera and took pictures and videos of us throughout the tour and shared them with us at the end. We truly appreciated his enthusiasm for Kyoto, as well as his insights and overall high level of customer service. Having the photos as a reminder of the great tour made it even better. We highly recommend him as your tour guide!

Peter/Family/United States

Amazing family tour!

This was one of the best tours that we have done as a family (two kids aged 8 & 10). Makoon tailored the information to both adults and children and even had a tailored passport for them, which the kids loved. You shouldn’t visit Kyoto without an introduction to this beautiful city from Makoon.

Tania/Family with kids/Australia

Super Fun and Educating Day with Makoon

We had a great 1st day in Kyoto with Makoon! He is very knowledgeable as well as very curious about continuous learning. Makoon is a certified guide and trains other guides, so that says it all! He took us to Fushimi Inari shrine, Tofuku-ji Temple and around Gion. He taught us a lot about the local culture, both historical and present-day. He also taught us a lot about geisha (geiko / maiko) and their lifestyle, and we encountered 7 – 8 of them on the streets of Gion which surprised Makoon (some people don’t see any). We capped the tour with lunch at an awesome A5 beef BBQ place in a private room. It was a great day in Kyoto with Makoon!

TravelerPacPal/Family/United States

A fun and informative walking tour

We spent one day in Kyoto with Makoon and it was one of the highlights of our Japan trip. He was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the sites we visited and was open to all of our questions. We learned so much about Japanese culture and had a great time. Makoon was very responsive and polite throughout the booking process and he was able to cater the tour to our needs. He was organized when we arrived and had printed out an itinerary for each of us and even had an activity arranged for my 3 year old which was much appreciated. My daughter loved spending time with him and thought he was great fun. We never felt rushed to get from one place to another and we were able to fit all of the activities we wanted to do within the time frame. I highly recommend picking Makoon as your tour guide if you are planning a walking tour in Kyoto!

Judy/Friends/Canada

Fantastic Morning in Kyoto

Makoon works very hard to make a tour engaging and personalised to the things you find interesting. He is very knowledgable about Kyoto and it’s history. He also has some amazing food recommendations! We ate at several of the places he suggested and they were all great. I would recommend Makoon to anyone – he’s a lovely guy and great at his job.

Aimi/Couple/United Kingdom/

Makoon is the tour guide you need!

Makoon (Masaki) immediately was everything you would hope for in a guide. He was very prompt with all my booking questions and always stayed in contact. He met with me at 6AM! He came to the hotel I was staying at to be my guide (which was so awesome for someone unfamiliar of where to go). He made me a guide pamphlet and a ginger allergy card. We set off for our adventure and he immediately started off with stories of Kyoto and allowed me to get to know him better. I felt like I was traveling with a friend from Kyoto! He knew so much history and pointed out things I would have never known about. Makoon is the tour guide for you if you want to have a laid back and educational experience of Kyoto. He also gave me great tips on where to buy things ( I got a great Kimono for my mom at Chicagos). Thanks Makoon! Best tour guide I have ever had!

Paige/Couple/United States

Absolutely awesome guide!

We engaged Masaki for three full days in Kyoto. He was wonderful. He is extremely knowledgeable, totally fluent in English and has a wonderful personality. He also has his own car which made it easy to get around. He was flexible for changes we made. He takes great photos as well!! 5 stars and highly recommended. He loves his city and his work and he made out tour delightful

Tony/Family/United States

Makoon was the ULTIMATE tour guide for our first time in Kyoto

Upon first introduction, Makoon asked us to fill out a questionnaire which detailed our interests which allowed him to plan a unique day-long itinerary specifically dedicated to us. This was so thoughtful, and made the entire experience even more special. Leading up to our trip, he even created and shared booklets with us that gave us a detailed look into his food recommendations for the city, and a plan of action for the second day where we would not be with him – this was not something he had to do, but something he WANTED to do, which meant the world to us. Every single one of his recommendations were AMAZING, he even introduced us to an authentic tea ceremony shop to provide us with a special 40 minute experience in the heart of Kyoto. During our tour with Makoon, he was filled with knowledge, kindness and respect – we thoroughly enjoyed spending the day with him, learning about the history and culture in Kyoto and will cherish it for the rest of our lives. All in all, it was an unforgettable day, and truly could not have been possible without Makoon’s upbeat attitude, dedication to planning and genuine happiness for our well-being. Makoon is also an incredible photographer, a one-in-a-million type of man and someone we’d whole heartedly recommend to anyone looking for a one on one tour around this beautiful city. When we come to visit again, we will definitely re-book with Makoon!!!

Jess

A great Insider’s view of Kyoto

I have travelled to many places but never had a guide impress me more. First of all, I appreciate his communications prior to my travel providing me insight on the weather conditions, cash requirements needed to enter the sites, and his flexibility in planning an itinerary of my favorite sites to visit. On the day of our tour, he provided excellent directions of where we would meet at Kyoto Station and upon meeting him his friendly demeanor let me know I was going to have a great tour. He created for me a brochure with our day’s plans with time and even some of the history of the places we were to visit which was great to have. Masaki had so much background knowledge on the sites that we visited that made it more personal instead of boring see the sites. He made the history come alive in the sites we were seeing that day. His photography skills were excellent and he shared all his photos after for my memories plus he knew exactly where to go on these sites to find the best views and photo op. Our lunch location and food were excellent – he asked of course ahead of time what kind of food I wanted and made the best plan. I highly recommend Masaki for an organized, insightful, fabulous yet fun tour on your visit to Kyoto.

Angela/Solo/United States

Extensive visit to kyoto

Masaki made our visit to Kyoto memorable. He was flexible with our itinerary, had great presentation skills and spoke fluent English. He helped us make restaurant reservations for my birthday. We enjoyed learning about the culture and history of Japan from him. If I go back to Kyoto I would hire him again.

Janet/Family/Canada

Amazing day with Makoon

What an amazing experience! Such a fantastic itinerary made up to suit our group (which included kids). Makoon was a kind and generous guide. We learned so much about Kyoto, Japan and Shinto during our day and we managed to fit in so much in a day. Highly recommended. An excellent guide who was a foodie to boot which suited our group perfectly! Thanks for a super time Makoon!

Channa/Family/Australia

Testimonial

During our unforgettable journey through Kyoto, we had the pleasure of being guided by Makoon, an extraordinary tour guide whose expertise and charisma transformed our trip into a truly remarkable experience. Makoon’s deep knowledge of Kyoto’s rich cultural heritage was evident as he led us to a serene Shinto shrine and a majestic Buddhist temple, where he shared fascinating insights that deepened our appreciation of these sacred sites.

 

As we wandered through the historic streets of Kyoto, Makoon’s engaging storytelling brought the city’s past vividly to life, making us feel as though we were walking through history. His humor and wit added a delightful touch to our exploration, ensuring that there was never a dull moment.

 

A visit to Flowertown was another highlight of our tour, where Makoon’s passion for Kyoto’s traditions shone brightly. He encouraged us to partake in cultural activities, making us feel comfortable and deeply connected to the local customs.

 

Perhaps one of the most memorable experiences was dining at what is now the best beef restaurant we have ever visited, a hidden gem that only a knowledgeable local like Makoon could have introduced us to. The food was nothing short of spectacular, and Makoon’s company made the meal even more enjoyable.

 

Makoon is not just a tour guide; he is an engaged, educated, and caring local who takes immense pride in his city and goes above and beyond to ensure his guests have a meaningful and enjoyable experience. We left Kyoto feeling enriched and enlightened, thanks to Makoon’s exceptional guidance. To anyone planning a visit to Kyoto, we cannot recommend Makoon highly enough – he truly is a gem in the heart of this beautiful city.

Patrick

Best guide ever!

Masaki (Makoon san) didn’t just show us Kyoto…but he showed us the behind the scenes in ways that a regular tour (or guide for that matter) never could have provided. I had 2 teenagers with me and he was great with them as they learned but remaining super engaged. Our full day itinerary was completely customized ahead of time to suit our interests – which included providing a balance of temples/history with an interest to get a deep exploration of culture, food, etc. And communicating with him ahead of time was a breeze…as he was very responsive (with outstanding English skills) and adapted according to our individual interests (down to what to eat for lunch). He exceeded all expectations. He is a Nationally Licensed Guide with a wealth of information not just about Kyoto but Japan in general….and is one of the few people to have actually met/interviewed a Geisha – so was able to provide a much deeper insight into their lives and culture than would normal. Don’t visit Kyoto without a guide as there are so many items the regular tourist will miss just walking around. And don’t guide with anyone other than Masaki. He’s the best! Thank you Makoon san for providing an impressionable and lifetime memory of Kyoto for me and my family!

Sharon/Family/United States

Inside Kyoto with Kyoto Tour by MAkooN

Makoon makes Kyoto come alive, from the ancient places and history to the best restaurants and shopping. It was truly an adventure to share time with him and explore the very heart and soul of this magnificent city. He has a wonderful way with words and is clearly a passionate fan of his home, Kyoto.

We look forward to our next visit and will engage him again. Five stars!

Jeffrey/Couple

Perfect two days in Kyoto with Makoon

From the moment we booked our tours with Makoon he was quick to respond back and was very professional. Makoon planned the perfect itinerary for us. Kyoto is a magical place and with Makoons knowledge we learned so much about history and culture. Makoon also recommended the most amazing places to eat and we were able enjoy Japanese cuisine.I should also mention he knew the perfect places for us to shop too. I was traveling with my 17 year old daughter and she was very interested in all of the valuable information Makoon provided. Makoon is such a kind individual we felt like we had known him for awhile. Thank you for accommodating our sunrise request. It truly was a beautiful morning. Everything about our 2 day tour was PERFECT. We look forward to coming back and enjoying more experiences with Makoon. We highly recommend Makoon to everyone. Thank you and best wishes to you and your family. We will definitely be back.

Kim/Family/United States

Amazing Tour in Kyoto – Highly Recommended Tour Guide

My husband and I had a wonderful day in Kyoto, guided by Masaki (known as Makoon). He was very diligent in understanding our goals for the tour and put together a thoughtful and exciting tour for us. We had a lot of questions about Kyoto, Japanese culture etc – and he was very expert in giving us thoughtful and thorough answers. We left not just with an appreciation of Kyoto but also broader knowledge of the culture and history that helped us round out our trip to Japan. We would absolutely return to Kyoto and do additional tours with Makoon. We have done many private tours in our travels and we consider Makoon in the top echelon of guides we have used. Highly Highly recommended.

Ramon/Couple/United States

Best Tour of Kyoto

Makoon is an outstanding host and we could not recommend him more highly. He worked with us to customize our tour and planned out a full itinerary before our arrival. He met us at our hotel first thing in the morning and provided excellent insight on Japanese history and culture as we toured the Gion district, Nijo Castle, and the Nishiki Market.
Overall, this was easily the best tour experience we have ever had. It would be a huge mistake to visit Kyoto without booking a tour with Makoon!

Noah/Couple/United States

Truly a gem

Our morning went too fast with Makoon. Perfect english, so relatable and beyond knowledgable. Makoon was a helpful resource from before our trip and still. He created a great day in Kyoto and we only wish he could take us around more!! Dont pass him up!

Katherine/United States

Best decision of our entire trip

There are tour guides and then there’s Makoon! He is above and beyond personable, knowledgeable, and passionate about Kyoto and Japan. And about making that connection with what his guests hope to get out of their visit. He really shines showcasing Kyoto and his love for his work is clear. We learned and saw more in one day, in a fun way with us and our kids, than any amount of research on our own. And it was all tailored to our specific interests ranging from shrines to food to flowers to history. We are usually do-it-yourself travelers but we are so glad we spent the day with Makoon, a wonderful representative of Kyoto! And one of the highlights of an incredibly memorable trip for us.

Claudia/Family/United States

Only the best Guide/Interpreter in Kyoto

How did I get so lucky to have Masaki as my guide for a day in Kyoto? Five stars is not enough. Masaki is the utmost professional, and knew details about everything. Absolutely perfect English and a great communicator/teacher about the history and the culture of Kyoto and all of it’s sites. If Masaki has an open day in his schedule, it would be best to book it fast. He is the best!

Thomas/Solo/United States

Fabulous guide

The most professional, passionate, efficient and generous guide Makoon was very knowledgable about the sites, and more than his knowledge, his passion for his profession was exemplary !! A real treat to have him as a guide and certainly made our visit to Kyoto most memorable than it would have been without him Thank you Makoon !!! Sincerely Francisco & Marily Gomez

Francisco/Friends/Canada